UMES Brings Aggies Season to An End
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (Nov. 18, 2016) – North Carolina A&T volleyball fell in the first of the 2016 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-17) against the hosting Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks. The Aggies entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed in the southern division while the Hawks represented the second seed in the north.
“It was definitely a tough match,” said head coach Hal Clifton. “UMES is a really good team, but we are a good team, too. We played well at multiple times throughout the match, but they just had us. We have been improving throughout the season, and I know we are going to continue to get better. I look back at where we were five years ago and we have just kept improving.”
N.C. A&T finishes the season 9-15 (6-4 MEAC) while the Hawks advance to 18-12. The Aggies hit .073 compared to the Hawks’ .430 hitting percentage.
First-team All-MEAC performer Samara Brown led the Aggies with 11 kills on a .226 hitting percentage. There were several points where Brown proved why she was named all-conference. Junior Alyssa Pitt followed with five kills, hitting .125.
The Aggies found their rhythm in the third set, hitting .231 with 11 kills and five errors. They kept the score close, and it looked like the match had a chance to go to four sets when the Aggies came back from being down by nine points with a kill from Alyssa Pitt to make the score 21-16. However, a kill from Zuzana Ondruskova ended the match with a 3-0 Hawk victory.
UMES came out swinging in Set 1, hitting .310 with 14 kills and five errors to the Aggies -.094 with five kills and eight errors. Brown led N.C. A&T with three kills in the set, but also had three errors. The Hawks stayed consistent at the net, totaling four team blocks in the set, led by Mere Serea with four block assists.
The Aggies will lose three seniors at the conclusion of this season, including their leader in assists the past four seasons, Liz Martino. Fifth-year middle blocker Te’Borah Hawkins-Hollingsworth, one of Clifton’s most accurate offensive players over her career also completed her career along with defensive specialist T’keyah Davis.
Clifton is building for the future, adding three signees to the class of 2017. Brown, who had a career season, is also back along with key blockers Pitt and junior Jasmine Lindor. Libero and digs leader Keniah Rivera Santiago is also back along with key freshmen from this season in Christa Wilson, Camille Uadiale and Leila Haynesworth. Sophomore Kayla Finnerty will look to replace Martino at setter next season.